An echocardiogram (echo) uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to make pictures of your heart. The test is also called echocardiography or diagnostic cardiac ultrasound.

The types of echocardiograms are:

  • Transthoracic echocardiography
  • Stress echocardiography
  • Transesophageal echocardiography
  • hree-dimensional (3D) echocardiography

An echo test can allow your health care team to look at your heart’s structure and check how well your heart functions. The test helps your health care team find out:

  • The size and shape of your heart, and the size, thickness and movement of your heart’s walls.
  • How your heart moves during heartbeats.
  • The heart’s pumping strength.
  • If the heart valves are working correctly.
  • If blood is leaking backwards through your heart valves (regurgitation).
  • If the heart valves are too narrow (stenosis).
  • If a tumor or infectious growth is around your heart valves.